Islamic jihad militant with rpg AP oct. 28, 2010
A masked Palestinian Islamic Jihad militant carries an a RPG (rocket propelled grenade) launcher. Photo by AP
Text size

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's cabinet deliberated on Wednesday a draft known as the "incitement index", measuring the levels of violence and anti-Israel sentiment in the Palestinian Authority.

Deliberations on the draft, which a team headed by Netanyahu's aide Ron Drummer and Brigadier General (res.) Yossi Kupperwasser consolidated nine months ago, has been postponed five times – due to both scheduling conflicts and policy-related reasons.

The meter comprises four central components: clear incitement to violence; an atmosphere that encourages violence and terror; incitement to hatred, demonization and failure to create an environment for positive progress.

The ratings are based on analysis of institutionalized Palestinian media and Palestinians schoolbooks and remarks of senior Palestinian Authority officials.

The cabinet decided during its deliberations on Tuesday that the meter should be regularly updated and presented in various forums in order to influence the Palestinian Authority into curbing incitement and education yielding violence.

Netanyahu reiterated during the debate that a peace deal could only be reached if the Palestinian Authority agreed to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, Cabinet secretary Zvi Hauser said in statement.

"As in Israel we do not negate the other side, we expect that the Palestinians will educate [their people] toward peace," Netanyahu said, according to the statement.

The Israeli officials tasked with monitoring the issue admit that instances of incitement in the Palestinian Authority is rarely as blatant as they were during late President Yasser Arafat's rule. Nevertheless, said on of the officials, there is in the West Bank an atmosphere that encourages violence.

The incitement meter will be published in the Israeli media and Israel plans to open a diplomatic campaign calling one the international community to put pressure on the Palestinian Authority to curb incitement or encouragement of violence.